(This post originally appeared in The Washington Monthly) In yesterday’s staff memo by New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., he wrote that in last week’s firing of Abramson “compensation played no part whatsoever in my decision that Jill could not remain as executive editor. Nor did any discussion about compensation.” I believe that one small part of that memo about this whole brouhaha: the actual monies involved were… Read More »Women,Money and Power
(This post first appeared in slightly different form in the Washington Monthly) Since the resignation under fire of Health and Human Services Director Katherine Sebelius you no longer hear as much about repealing the Affordable Care Act (although certain candidates, most recently Scott Brown, continue to bring it up). But when her head rolled a lot of people seemed to feel better. Now the call is for the head of… Read More »The Comforting Feeling of Rolling Heads
For some reason, and no one intelligent knows why, far too many conservative men think that women talking about insured and covered birth control and available abortion means we are whores. Sluts. Loose women who cannot control our libidos. The most obvious question is just who IS it all these loose women are screwing, anyway? Because clearly, it isn’t the men who are screaming the loudest about keeping us virgins… Read More »Why Talking About Birth Control and Abortion Does Not Make You a Slut
I am doing nothing. I am doing so much nothing that I have wrapped a cocoon of nothing around myself so as to make the doing of nothing easier and less stressful. I am at a writers’ and artists’ colony and have two weeks in which to do nothing — except my work, which is not nothing, but is the kind of nothing that I haven’t had much time to… Read More »I Am Doing Nothing!
I live in Savannah, which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and to which I willingly and gratefully moved when my last child left the nest. I live in Savannah, where the lines for Paula Deen’s restaurant, Lady and Sons, stretch around the block most days, and the parking lot at her brother’s restaurant over the bridge on Whitemarsh Island, Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, is perpetually… Read More »Why The Paula Deen Controversy is About Much More Than Words
I want my mean, bitchy, drunk mother back. The mother who was depressed and melancholy, who said cruel things about my work and criticized my parenting, who undermined instructions to my kids by saying “You really don’t have to pay attention to her.” I want the mother back who invited herself to my first apartment and then pitched screaming fits in the streets of Boston. The woman who threatened to… Read More »I Want My Mother Back
Before the bombings in Boston and the explosion in Texas and the ricin-laced letters to the president and congressmen, two women quietly committed suicide, not I think so much because they had been raped — a traumatic enough event in itself — but because the crime had been broadcast all over the Internet by the perpetrators. The women in question had not only lost control over their bodies and their… Read More »Why We Cannot Be Part of the 54 Percent of Women Who Do Not Report Sexual Assault
Someone recently said to me that the reason something is in the news, what makes it newsworthy, is the huge chance that it won’t happen to you. For example, most people, thank God, will not be shot in a shopping mall or a school, will not die when a sinkhole takes their bedroom, and will not end up in the hospital with the flesh-eating bacteria. And conversely, most people won’t… Read More »The Rise (Again) of the Celebrity Feminist.
A few women I know were discussing, lamenting, the state of women and the women’s movement a couple of days ago, wondering why it seems that for every step we take forward we take two steps back. They were wondering, much like the Republicans seem to be, whether feminism’s messaging is off rather than whether or not what we are doing as women is somehow misdirected. Fifty years after the… Read More »Marissa Mayer and the Great Class Divide
In the 1950s and 60s “refrigerator” mothers, those who were seen, accurately or not, as cold and unloving were to blame for the mental fragility or illness of their children. Until far too recently, it was only a mother’s age, genetics, and health that were taken into consideration when evaluating whether a child would be born whole or not. Mothers are blamed for not bonding properly with their children, for… Read More »Are Women Responsible for the Powerlessness of Men?